Preview: Clayton Kershaw Takes Mound In Road Trip Opener

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers won five out of seven on their recent homestand, and now hit the road for an eight-game road trip beginning with a short two-game series in Oakland against the Athletics. The Dodgers (67-51) head into Oakland a season-high 16 games above .500 and three games ahead of the San Francisco Giants in the National League West.

Clayton Kershaw takes the ball Tuesday with a 10-6 record and 2.39 ERA, 2.18 FIP, 0.92 WHIP and National League leading 205 strikeouts. Since June 1, he leads the Majors with a 1.30 ERA. In his last start he threw eight shutout innings for the fifth time in his last six starts.

In two career starts against Oakland, he has yet to have a decision, but has given up just one earned run in 13.2 innings (0.66 ERA) while striking out 15.

The Athletics also send a left-hander to the mound in Felix Doubront. In seven games on the season (four starts), he is 1-1 with a 4.59 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 33.1 innings. Since being traded to Oakland at the trade deadline he has thrown two games out of the bullpen, giving up five earned runs in 10.2 innings. The 27-year-old is 1-0 with an 11.05 ERA in two career starts against the Dodgers.

Since Tuesday’s game is in an American League park, the Dodgers have the luxury of using the designated hitter. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has chosen Alex Guerrero for that role on Tuesday. Guerrero is batting .239 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs on the season. His production has dropped since the end of April, and because of that he has seen his playing time decrease.

Kike Hernandez once again starts at second base and bats second. Since taking over for an injured Howie Kendrick on August 9, he is 11-for-29 (.379 batting average) with two home runs and four RBIs.

Right-handed bat Josh Phegley starts behind the plate and bats fourth for Oakland with the lefty Kershaw on the mound. He’s batting .272 with six home runs and 25 RBIs on the season and is now in a platoon role with Stephen Vogt behind the plate.

Dodgers Lineup:

SS: Jimmy Rollins

2B: Kike Hernandez

3B: Justin Turner

1B: Adrian Gonzalez

LF: Scott Van Slyke

RF: Yasiel Puig

DH: Alex Guerrero

C: A.J. Ellis

CF: Joc Pederson

P: Clayton Kershaw

Athletics Lineup:

CF: Billy Burns

LF: Sam Fuld

3B: Danny Valencia

C: Josh Phegley

1B: Mark Cahna

DH: Billy Butler

RF: Josh Reddick

SS: Marcus Semien

2B: Eric Sogard

P: Felix Doubront


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